Genji monogatari is the original title of The Tale of Genji and it’s one of my favourite books ever.
I read Genji monogatari in its Italian translation during my first year of university and I fell in love with it almost instantly.
It isn’t an easy read, even in your own language. There are many characters, most of whose names are very similar. Also, for those who are approaching a different culture is double challenging because they have to understand the medieval stage of that particular culture. I mean even some episodes and elements from Italian Medieval Age sound funny to me…and I’m Italian!!!
I have to tell the truth, though, I wasn’t al loss anyway. I found everything very charming and fairy tale-ish and I was in almost constant awe.
Genji monogatari is a book written by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting of one of the emperor’s wives, so she knew what she was talking about.
Her narration is smooth and full of details and very interesting.
However, you don’t only read about the actual life but also about tradition and superstitions of Heian Japan. Everything is so well mixed up and written that you can compare it to a portal to the medieval Japan.
Now that I think about that I want to read it again!!!
Also, I have to add that Genji was the very first fictional character I fell in love with. He’s not the portrait of the perfect partner, he has loads of flaws and to be honest with you I couldn’t love someone like him, being him real…maybe.
But the way he’s presented and portrayed and, most of all, the feeling that are evoked reading through the pages are so beautiful and so sweet that I couldn’t feel otherwise.
So yes, I confess, I fell in love with a fictional character (actually the first time out of three) when I was only 19!
Am I normal? Am I alone? Let me know in the comments!